The gluten-free trend may have already crossed its apex and you might not be the only bakery in town that offers gluten-free treats, but the need for gluten-free offerings in your shop is still important.
In the United States, more than 3 million people have been diagnosed with Celiac disease. And millions more are actively changing their diets to avoid gluten. Those with Celiacs cannot properly digest gluten products without harming their small intestine, those that are not challenged with Celiac’s and choose to go gluten-free do so for taste preference, sensitivity/allergy, and adherence to special diets.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other similar grains. The protein acts as a binding agent, making dough and batter sticky, giving it structure and shape. Gluten provides elasticity and stability, holding together cookies, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods.
For those with Celiacs, avoiding gluten altogether is not the only challenge. Some foods, do not have gluten themselves, but have been exposed to foods that do. This often happens to oats during the manufacturing process. In pastry shops, gluten-free baked goods need special ingredients and also organization to prevent cross-contamination.
If your shop offers baked goods with and without gluten, it is crucial that you keep tools, ingredients, and prep processes separate. Choose color coded spoons, spatulas, surfaces, and knives to prevent cross-contamination. For more information about products that have HACCP protection, click here.
Once everything is out of the oven, it is important that you continue to keep your gluten-free baked goods, well, gluten-free. Make sure that you store and display gluten-free treats on a separate shelf. You can go the extra mile and use different colored baking cups or “gluten-free” food labels to inspire extra confidence in your customers.
Almond flour is a great alternative. It is flavorful, low-carb, and creates a wonderful finished texture. Rice flour is another good way to go. It is low-fat and has mild smooth flavor for delicate desserts. In addition, tapioca, teff, buckwheat, quinoa, and coconut flour are also good options for gluten-free baking.